Haines, Joseph (DNB00)
|←Haines, John Thomas||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 24
HAINES or HAYNES, JOSEPH (d. 1701), sometimes called Count Haines, actor, was educated at the school of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and was sent, at the expense of some gentlemen who were struck by his quickness and capacity, to Queen's College, Oxford. Here he attracted the attention of Joseph (afterwards Sir Joseph) Williamson, a fellow of the college, who, on being appointed secretary of state, took Haines as his Latin secretary. Dismissed on account of his want of discretion, Haines went with an introduction from his late employer to Cambridge, and joined a company of comedians at Stourbridge fair. After some experience as a dancer (Aston, Brief Supplement, p. 20), he found his way to the Theatre Royal, where Pepys saw him, 7 May 1668, and spoke of him as the incomparable dancer. He says that Haines had recently joined from the Nursery (in Golden Lane, Moorfields). After the Theatre Royal was burnt in January 1671–1672 he was sent to Paris by Hart and Killigrew to examine the machinery used in the French operas (Malone, Historical Account of the English Stage, p. 345). His useless expenditure during this expedition embroiled him with Hart. His first recorded part is Benito in Dryden's ‘Assignation,’ a comic servant, who is an unintentional Marplot. This character Dryden is supposed to have written expressly for Haines, who in 1672, as is believed, was the original exponent. In 1673 he was the original Sparkish in Wycherley's ‘Country Wife,’ and in 1674 the first Lord Plausible in the ‘Plain Dealer.’ The original parts he took previous to the junction of the two companies in 1682 included Visconti in Fane's ‘Love in the Dark,’ 1675, Gregory Dwindle in Leanard's ‘Country Innocence,’ Harlequin in Ravenscroft's ‘Scaramouch a Philosopher,’ Sir Simon Credulous in ‘Wits led by the Nose’ in 1677, Whiffler in the ‘Man of Newmarket,’ by the Hon. E. Howard, and Launce in ‘Trick for Trick,’ D'Urfey's adaptation of ‘Monsieur Thomas,’ in 1678. In 1684 he played Bullfinch in the revival of Broome's ‘Northern Lass,’ in 1685 was the original Bramble in Tate's ‘Cuckold's Haven,’ and Hazard in ‘Commonwealth of Women,’ D'Urfey's alteration of Fletcher's ‘Sea Voyage.’
Meanwhile the reputation of Haines for writing and speaking prologues and epilogues had greatly risen. In 1675 a new prologue and epilogue to ‘Every Man out of his Humour,’ written by Duffett, was spoken by Haines (Langbaine, English Dramatic Poets, p. 291). The original epilogue to the ‘Island Queens’ of Banks was written by Haines, and was intended to be spoken by him, 1684. It contained a line to the effect that players and poets will be ruined
Unless you're pleased to smile upon Count Haines.
The prologue to the ‘Commonwealth of Women’ was spoken by Haines with a western scythe in his hand in reference to the defeat of Monmouth. Haines's name next appears to the character of Depazzi in a reprint of the ‘Traytor,’ 1692. In 1693 he was Captain Bluffe in Congreve's ‘Old Batchelor.’ Next year he was Gines de Passamonte in the first part of D'Urfey's ‘Don Quixote,’ in 1697 was Syringe in the ‘Relapse,’ Roger in ‘Æsop,’ and Rumour in Dennis's ‘Plot and no Plot.’ The character of Baldernæ, called in the dramatis personæ a Player in Disguise, in the piece last named, Haines says in the prologue, was intended for himself. In 1699 he was Pamphlet, a bookseller, and Rigadoon, a dancing-master, in Farquhar's ‘Love and a Bottle.’ The prologue and epilogue to this were written and spoken by himself. He was in the same year Tom Errand in Farquhar's ‘The Constant Couple.’ He also played the Clown in ‘Othello,’ Jamy in ‘Sawney the Scot,’ and other parts. In 1700 he played the Doctor in Burnaby's ‘Reformed Wife,’ the cast of which piece Genest had not seen. He died next year. As an actor Haines acquired little reputation. Aston, however, says that there were two parts, Noll Bluff in the ‘Old Batchelor’ and Roger in ‘Æsop,’ which none ever touched but Joe Haines, and owns to having copied him in the latter. His fame was due to the delivery of prologues and epilogues, often of his own composition. Many of these he delivered under strange conditions or with the most curious environment. Thus the epilogue to ‘Neglected Virtue, or the Unhappy Conquerour,’ was spoken as a madman. The epilogue to ‘Unhappy Kindness’ he spoke in the habit of a horse-officer mounted on an ass. This epilogue is assigned to Haines. It appears, however, in the 1730 edition of Tom Brown's ‘Works,’ iv. 313, with a print representing Haines and the ass on the front of the stage. This performance was imitated by succeeding actors. ‘A Fatal Mistake, or the Plot Spoiled,’ 4to, 1692 and 1696, is, according to Gildon, attributed to Haines. Genest, who declares it a wretched tragedy, supposes Haines responsible only for the prologue and epilogue, and the editors of the ‘Biographia Dramatica’ hold that, though the first edition alludes to its having been acted, the statement is scarcely credible. Aston says that Haines kept a droll-booth at Bartholomew fair, at which in 1685 he produced a droll called ‘The Whore of Babylon, the Devil, and the Pope.’ Haines has a reputation for wit, which his prologues and epilogues hardly justify. His vivacity and animal spirits commended him to aristocratic society, both in England and in France. Innumerable stories, one or two of them of indescribable nastiness, are told concerning him. He personated a peer in France, ran into debt three thousand livres, and narrowly escaped being confined in the Bastille; was arrested for debt in England, and through a trick obtained the payment of the amount by the Bishop of Ely. Cibber in his ‘Apology’ calls Haines ‘a fellow of wicked wit’ (i. 273, ed. Lowe). He appears to have been popular among his fellows and at the Covent Garden coffee-houses. Tom Brown, in his ‘Letters from the Dead to the Living,’ gives three letters from Haines, whom he calls ‘Signior Giusippe Hanesio, high German Doctor in Brandipolis,’ to ‘his friends at Wills's coffee-house’ (Brown, Works, ed. 1707, vol. ii. passim). During the reign of James II Haines turned catholic. Quin declares that Lord Sunderland sent for the actor, and questioned him as to his conversion. Haines said, ‘As I was lying in my bed, the Virgin appeared to me and said, “Arise, Joe!”’ ‘You lie, you rogue,’ said the earl; ‘if it had really been the Virgin herself, she would have said Joseph, if it had only been out of respect for her husband’ (Davies, Dramatic Miscellany, iii. 267). As Bayes Haines subsequently spoke in a white sheet a recantation prologue, written for him by Brown, two lines in which were:
I own my crime of leaving in the lurch
My mother-playhouse; she's my mother church
(ib. iii. 290). Dryden, in consequence, it is supposed, of an imaginary dialogue between himself and Haines, written by Brown, says in his epilogue to his version of Fletcher's ‘Pilgrim’ (some of the last lines he wrote):
But neither you, nor we, with all our pains
Can make clean work; there will be some remains,
While you have still your Oates and we our Haines.
He assumed the title of count when travelling in France with a gentleman, who, to enjoy his society, paid his expenses. After a short illness he died 4 April 1701 at his lodgings in Hart Street, Long Acre, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Paul's, Covent Garden.[Works cited; Genest's Account of the Stage; Colley Cibber's Apology, ed. Lowe; Life of the famous Comedian, Jo Haynes, 1701, 8vo; Aston's Brief Supplement to Colley Cibber; Baker, Reed, and Jones's Biographia Dramatica; Davies's Dramatic Miscellanies; Timbs's Handbook to London.]